Dry Needling is a medical technique performed by a skilled physical therapist to immediately reduce pain, muscle tension and improve mobility. It is used in a variety of musculoskeletal problems including, but not limited to: acute or chronic injuries, headaches, neck pain, back pain, tendinitis, muscle spasms, “Sciatica”, hip or knee pain, muscle strains, fibromyalgia, tennis or golfer’s elbow, overuse injuries, and much more.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry Needling is a treatment technique often used by physical therapists to relieve pain. It requires using a sterile acupuncture needle that is inserted through the skin into muscles, tendons, ligaments, and/or close to nerves to immediately reduce pain, decrease muscle tension and increase mobility. Dry Needling is not acupuncture; it is based on a modern scientific study of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. This treatment technique provides an environment that enhances the body’s ability to heal which ultimately reduces pain.
Is this Acupuncture?
There are many similarities and differences between dry needling and acupuncture. Licensed physical therapists in a growing number of states can use dry needling under the scope of their practice. Physical therapists have not licensed acupuncturists and do not practice acupuncture. In contrast to most schools of acupuncture, dry needling is strictly based on Western medicine principles and research.
What can be treated by Dry Needling?
Dry Needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. When combined with traditional physical therapy and the advanced manual therapy techniques, we have had success treating most pain-related problems from head to toe and from acute to chronic conditions.
Also, Dry Needling can be used to help athletes overcome delayed onset muscle soreness. As athletes push the envelope to become bigger and faster or to reach new goals, recovery becomes an essential phase in the process. Often times dry needling can be used to speed up this recovery time and allow the athlete to return to training or to playing as soon as possible.
Is Dry Needling Painful?
For most people, there is little to no discomfort with the insertion of the needle. We strive to make the treatment virtually painless, however, at times, you may experience a “twitch response” which often feels like a quick muscle cramp or ache. These sensations are normal and even desirable at times. Following this technique muscle soreness can be felt up to 24-48 hours. The application of heat or ice and drinking plenty of fluids usually reduces the soreness.
Dry Needling is a powerful treatment technique that when in used with conjunction with our other physical therapy treatments, can help you relieve your pain and improve your function quickly.
Contact us at Harahan, New Orleans, and LA centers to learn more about our dry needling therapy.